BOH4M – Grade 12 Business Leadership – Human Resource Management

Chapter 12: Human Resource Management


Why People Make The Difference


  • People have to be the top priority in any organization with high-performance aspirations
  • Strong foundation of human capital – the economic value of people with job-relevant abilities, knowledge, ideas, energies and commitments – is essential to any organization’s long-term performance success
  • Diversity advantage must be recognized and unlocked in order to enable organizations to better respond to pressures for change and performance
  • To succeed in today’s challenging times, employers and managers must place a primacy on people
  • This means respect for all people in all of their diversity and being fully inclusive


Human Resource Management (HRM)


  • HRM is the process of attracting, developing, and maintaining a high-quality workforce. Human resource specialists assist line managers in:
    • Attracting a quality workforce – Includes human resource planning, recruitment, and selection
    • Developing a quality workforce – Includes employee orientation, training and development, and career planning and development
    • Maintaining a quality workforce – Includes management of employee retention and turnover, performance appraisal, and compensation and benefits
  • Strategic human resource management applies HRM process to ensure the effective accomplishment of organizational mission and strategies


  • Laws in place against employment discrimination: Occurs when someone is denied a job or job assignment for reasons not job relevant
  • Employment Equity Act is an effort to give preference in employment to Aboriginals, women, visible minorities, and people with special physical/mental disability
  • Issue raised about the potential for members of majority populations to claim reverse discrimination
  • Canadian Human Rights Act does not restrict an employer’s right to establish bona fide occupational qualifications: Criteria for employment that can be clearly justified as being related to a person’s capacity to perform a job
  • Qualifications based on race and colour not allowed under any circumstances; those based on gender, religion, age are very difficult to support


  • Current legal issues in HRM include:
    1. Sexual harassment: Behaviour of a sexual nature that affects a person’s employment situation
    2. Pay equity and comparable worth: Persons performing jobs of similar importance should be paid at comparable levels
    3. Legal status and employee entitlements of part-time workers and independent contractors: Workers hired on temporary contracts and not part of the organization’s permanent workforce, and are not covered under basic employment standards legislation
    4. Workplace privacy: right to privacy while you work (IT surveillance and e-mail monitoring)


Attracting a Quality Workforce


  • First step of HRM is to attract to the organization a high-quality workforce
  • To attract the right people, an organization must first have a clear understanding of what it is looking for – jobs to be done, and the talents required to do them
  • Human resource planning analyzes staffing needs and identifies actions to fill those needs

Step 1 – Review organizational mission, objectives, and strategies

Step 2 – Review human resource objectives and strategies

Step 3 – Assess current human resource

Step 4 – Forecast human resource needs

Step 5 – Develop and implement human resource plans to match people           and job openings

  • Foundations for human resource planning are set by job analysis: The orderly study of job facts to determine just what is done, when, where, how, why, and by whom in existing or potential new jobs



  • Job analysis provides information for developing:
    • Job descriptions detailing duties and responsibilities of job holder
    • Job specifications listing qualifications required of job holder


  • Recruitment is a set of activities designed to attract a qualified pool of job applicants to an organization
  • Steps in the recruitment process:

Step 1 – Advertisement of a job vacancy

Step 2 – Preliminary contact with potential job candidates

Step 3 – Initial screening to create a pool of qualified applicants


  • Two recruitment methods, each with potential advantages and disadvantages
    • External recruitment – Candidates are sought from outside the hiring organization. Brings in outsiders with fresh perspectives and specialized expertise not available internally
    • Internal recruitment – Candidates are sought from within the organization. Less expensive, deals with persons whose performance records are well established, builds loyalty and motivation
  • Another important recruitment consideration is honesty and full information
    • Traditional recruitment – Candidates receive information only on most positive features in the hope of “selling” the organization. Unrealistic expectations may result in costly turnover when new hires leave prematurely (lost productivity, additional recruiting costs)
    • Realistic job previews – Candidates receive all pertinent information before the job is accepted. Individual better prepared to handle new job, has a higher level of job satisfaction, less inclined to quit prematurely









  • The process of selection involves choosing from a pool of applicants the person or persons who offer greatest performance potential
  • Selection Steps:

Step 1 – Formal application 

  • Application form declares individual to be a job candidate
  • Résumés documenting applicant’s personal history and qualifications
  • Applicants lacking appropriate credentials are rejected


Step 2 – Interview or site visit

  • Exchange of information between job candidate and key members of the organization. Potential candidate stumbling block

Step 3 – Testing

  • Often used to further screen applicants by gathering additional job-relevant information
  • Common types of employment tests are designed to identify intelligence, aptitudes, personality, interests and how one would respond to a series of job-related situations
  • Any employment test should meet the criteria of reliability (device measures consistently over repeated uses) and validity (demonstrable relationship between a person’s rating on a selection device and eventual job performance)
  • An assessment center evaluates a person’s potential by observing his/her performance in simulated work situations
  • Work sampling evaluates a person’s performance on a set of tasks that replicate those required in the job under consideration

Step 4 – Reference checks

  • Inquiries regarding qualifications, previous experience, past work
  • May be biased, but may also provide information that cannot be discovered elsewhere in selection process

Step 5 – Physical exam

  • Ensure applicant’s physical capability to fulfill job requirements
  • Life, health, and disability insurance programs eligibility
  • Drug testing may be done at this step

Step 6 – Final analysis and decision to hire or reject

  • Extensive consultation among multiple parties
  • Focus on all aspects of the candidate’s capacity to perform the designated job


Developing a Quality Workforce


  • When people join an organization, they must “learn the ropes” and become familiar with the way things are done
  • Socialization is the process of influencing the expectations, behaviour, and attitudes of a new employee in a way considered desirable by the organization
  • Begins with orientation: Set of activities designed to familiarize new employees with their jobs, coworkers, and key aspects of the organization


  • Trainingis a set of activities that provides the opportunity to acquire and improve job-related skills
    • On-the-job training – Job rotation, coaching, mentoring, modeling
    • Off-the-job training – Management development or training to improve knowledge and skills in the management process


  • Performance has to be measured. Performance management systems ensure that performance standards and objectives are set, performance is regularly assessed, and actions are taken to improve future performance
  • Performance appraisal is the process of formally assessing someone’s work accomplishments and providing feedback. Serves two basic purposes:
  1. Evaluation – Where people stand relative to objectives and standards
  2. Development – Assists in training and continued personal development
  • Performance appraisal methodsorganizations might employ:
    • Graphic rating scales – Checklists of traits or characteristics thought to be related to high job performance. Quick and easy to use; questionable reliability and validity
    • Behaviourally anchored rating scales (BARS) – Explicit descriptions of actual behaviours that exemplify various levels of performance achievement. More reliable and valid than graphic rating scales; helpful in training people to master important job skills
    • Critical-incident techniques – Running log or inventory of effective and ineffective behaviours. Documents success or failure patterns





    • Multi-person comparisons– Compares person’s performance with that of one or more others. Types of multi-person comparisons include:
      • Rank ordering – Each person arranged in order of performance or achievement
      • Paired comparisons – Each person compared with every other person and rated the superior or weaker member of the pair
      • Forced distributions – Each person placed into a frequency distribution that requires that a certain percentage fall into specific classifications (top 10%, next 40%, next 40%, bottom 10%)
  • Not all performance appraisals are completed only by one’s immediate boss. Alternatives to supervisory appraisal:
    • Peer appraisal – People who work regularly and directly with a jobholder involved in appraisal
    • Upward appraisal – Subordinates reporting to the jobholder involved in appraisal
    • 360° feedback – Superiors, subordinates, peers, and even internal and external customers involved in appraisal


Maintaining a Quality Workforce


  • Not enough to attract and develop workers with the talents to achieve high-performance results for the short-term only
  • They must successfully retained, nurtured and managed for long-term effectiveness
  • Career development:
  • Progression and development of ones career has become an important employment consideration 
  • Basic career development concepts:
  • Career: Sequence of jobs that constitute what a person does for a living
  • Career path: Sequence of jobs held over time during a career
  • Career planning: Process of systematically matching career goals and individual capabilities with opportunities for their fulfillment
  • Career plateau: Position from which someone is unlikely to move to a higher level of work responsibility



  • Work-life balance:
  • How people balance career demands with personal and family needs has become a very important issue in maintaining a quality workforce
  • Progressive employers support a healthy work-life balance
  • Contemporary work-life balance issues used as screening criterion by prospective candidates include unique needs of single parents, dual-career couples, and “family-friendliness” of an employer


  • Compensation and benefits:
    • Good compensation and benefit systems improve control by attracting and retaining qualified people
    • Base compensation: Salary or hourly wages
    • Fringe benefits: Additional non-wage or non-salary forms of compensation such as health insurance, retirement plans etc.
    • Flexible benefits: Employees choose from a range of benefit options
    • Familyfriendly benefits: Childcare, eldercare, flexible schedules, parental leave, part-time employment options
    • Employee assistance programs: Assistance in dealing with stress, alcohol and substance abuse counselling, referrals for domestic violence and sexual abuse, family and marital counselling


  • Retention and turnover:
  • Replacement is the management of:
    • Promotions: Movement of personnel to higher-level positions
    • Transfers: Movement to a different job at a similar level of responsibility
    • Retirement: Withdrawal from position or occupation
    • Termination: Involuntary and permanent dismissal










  • Labour-management relations:
    • Labour unions are important factors in the modern workplace dealing with employers on the workers’ behalf
    • About 30% of Canadian workers belong to a union
    • Bargaining agents that negotiate labour contracts specify rights and obligations of employees and management regarding wages, work hours, work rules, seniority, hiring, grievances, and other aspects and conditions of employment


  • The foundation for any labour and management relationship is collective bargaining: Process of negotiating, administering and interpreting the labour contract (formal agreement between a union and the employer about the terms of work for union members)
  • Governed closely by strict legal framework such as the Labour Relations Act in Ontario


  • Traditional adversarial view of labour-management relations
    • Unions can create difficulties for management by:
    • Striking: Refusing to come to work
    • Boycotting: Refusing to buy employer’s products or services and asking others to do the same
    • Picketing: Post and carry signs complaining about employer’s treatment of workers
  • Management can create difficulties for unions by:
  • Using lockouts: Refusing to let employees come to work
  • Hiring strike-breakers: Non-union workers doing striker’s jobs
  • Seeking injunctions: Court order requiring strikers to return
  • Union-management cooperation seems to be gaining headway in today’s competitive and challenging global economy
  • Each side more willing to understand that future survival depends on cooperation and mutual adjustment